Every other actor would have probably bent over backwards to star in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s debut telly production. However, Jennifer Winget surprised everyone when she turned down the offer to play the lead on the reputed filmmaker’s TV show, Saraswatichandra. Her reason: she didn’t approve of some of the clauses in her work contract. But as luck would have it, the makers couldn’t find a better actor to play the role of Kumud and got Jennifer back on board. Here she talks about bagging the role in the show and her journey so far in the industry.
Were you in awe of Bhansali when you met him or while working with him?
I respect him a lot as he’s done some amazing work. I am honoured to be associated with him; He’s a sweet man. I don’t know why people make him out to be someone he’s not. He respects people and takes interest in every little detail. It’s nice to be working with a person who shows so much interest in making you look good. I guess I was meant to play Kumud. It took just one look test and I was on board. But you walked out and later came back. Yes, but that wasn’t because of him. We had a few issues regarding some clauses in the contract.
When the makers got back to you after being unable to find another actor, did you feel you had an upper hand?
Why should I feel so? They aren’t doing me a favour by casting me. I am not doing them a favour either. I fit the role, and I am lucky and happy to be doing it. Any actor would be thrilled to be doing this show. I’m glad that we sorted our issues.
What has been the most challenging scene you have ever shot for till now?
For my entry scene in Saraswatichandra, I had to shoot in a lake with freezing cold water at 4 am on a cold January morning. It was very difficult.
What kind of shows would you like to see on TV?
I want to see good quality comedy shows, not the slapstick ones, or where people imitate others.
Is there any disturbing trend that you find on television today?
I feel that women on TV need to be portrayed as stronger characters. In the past, I have played the roles of subdued, self-sacrificing women. But we need to show our women as bolder individuals. I know this will happen. But I hope it happens soon.
You have had a huge fan following. How do you feel?
I feel am a blessed girl as every time one of my shows ends, there’s another one waiting to start. I am God’s favourite child. As far as fans are concerned, they notice everything about you — from your bangles to your hairdo to even your body weight. It’s a nice to get good feedback from your fans.
Who do you think are the hottest TV actors today?
Karan Singh Grover and Jennifer Singh Grover.
So, have you changed your surname now?
Well, I’d like to be known as Jennifer Singh Grover.
When do you plan to start a family?
It will happen soon. Once Saraswatichandra ends, I think.